There are recurring philosophical questions that generate duplicates, as well as "basic" philosophical questions that are often being asked in the SE. There are Meta questions that discuss this (Fallacy "big list" community wiki question?, Can we please have a "Why do things matter?"/"What is the meaning of life?" question?) in some way, although not directly which is why I'm opening this post.

Yes we have the FAQ post, but it's a general how to behave kind of FAQ, not something really specific to the common philosophical questions that we see every now and then.

Optimally this kind of FAQ would be posted in the "featured" page, or, if possible, in a tab of its own containing those questions instead.


Also topics like "who created the universe", "meaning of life" etc can be discussed in this kind of FAQ, in an explanation post of why this is inappropriate to the SE. This, for example, is a required step in my opinion, as I see a lot of traffic around such topics which ends up emphasizing the prejudice on philosophy nowadays as a nonsense, endless talk on the meaning of life (seriously, this is so upsetting seeing this kind of questions in this SE, I hope I'm not the only one who thinks that way).

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Seeing as we've only had 8 questions closed as duplicate in the past 3 months (access to stats requires 2k rep), I'd say this is unnecessary.

Regardless, an FAQ for the big questions would not be a good idea. The community doesn't have the required expertise, and there are other resources available for that purpose, such as SEP and IEP.

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    I'm not sure this is correct. In the past 9 months since I first logged in to this SE I've seen numerous questions that mainly resulted in dismissal, as they were asking for the "big questions". I don't think such question fit for this SE, as, like you yourself say, we can't answer them because they're too convoluted to answer here. Sure we can redirect users each time they ask them to SEP and IEP, but why not state beforehand that we don't answer such questions and put links to them in a specifically made FAQ. Because they are, after all, Frequently Asked. Commented Sep 30, 2018 at 10:34
  • Maybe it'll be more clear looking at questions like this. They appear almost every second day, and they're simply improper to the site (correct me if I'm wrong). At the very least, if not creating such FAQ, we could at least clarify someone that this site is not meant for these kind of questions. Commented Sep 30, 2018 at 10:58
  • I wanted to include this under a wider umbrella of "unwanted questions", like Dennis' offer of fallacies questions. But at the very least I think the kind of "meaning of life" questions should be removed from the site. Commented Sep 30, 2018 at 11:00

Ironically I was about to post a duplicate of this question when I found it. It may be an Idea whose time has come? For instance this Does god know what comes after his death? which does raise an interesting issue, but I think there are two responses likely from the model user:

"Ugh, not this again, close it as duplicate, to broad etc!"


"It is fun to pick apart the various assumptions and misconceptions, then point out how irrational it is to reason about God."

Admittedly I was thinking more of a place to discuss the merits of a question and the proper responses, or as Yechiam suggests a standard response. Some of the advantages would be:

Less editorial work.

Better equipped active users.

Happier new users.

Less editorial work.


I agree completely. There are too many What is the purpose of life? and similar. See this recent post from a new user who does not still have the reputation to do anything about it but still gets annoyed. I believe that this could prevent experts from staying on this site answering questions, and that is the purpose of the site.

It does not have to be an authoritative question and answer list, as otherwise it would be an encyclopedia entry. I would make instead a list of community wiki frequently asked questions, and point at it in the first question of a new user, maybe with a message along the lines of "before posting your question, first checked if it belongs to the frequently asked community questions".


One place to put additional information is in the tags.

This information would also be more readily accessible especially if one searches the questions and answers using them.

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